Reuters top ten news stories delivered to your inbox each day.
You are here:
Business & Finance
The Great Debate
Do More With Reuters
Make Reuters My Homepage
Support (Customer Zone)
About Thomson Reuters
Hariri to shun unity Lebanon govt if Hezbollah wins poll
Fri Feb 27, 2009 12:30pm EST
Email | Print |
| Reprints | Single Page
By Lin Noueihed
ABU DHABI (Reuters) - Saad al-Hariri, leader of Lebanon's anti-Syrian parliamentary majority, said on Friday his Future Movement would not share power in a unity government if pro-Syrian Hezbollah and its allies won the next election.
Hariri said a victory for the Hezbollah-led coalition would increase the influence of Iran in the country.
Lebanon's June 7 election is expected to be a tight race between the majority March 14 alliance of Christian, Sunni and Druze politicians and a powerful coalition comprising Hezbollah, its fellow Shi'ite Muslim group Amal, and followers of Christian former army general Michel Aoun.
Hariri said his Future Movement could form alliances with independents such as former Prime Minister Najib Mikati but would fight the poll in most areas on unified March 14 lists.
Asked if he would consider sharing power with Hezbollah and its allies in the next government if they won the majority of seats in Lebanon's parliament, Hariri told Reuters:
"No we would not take part. I am talking about myself. Me as Future Movement would not take part in the government.
"On the contrary, I would prefer to foster democracy so as not to bolster sectarianism. Today, the problem is that we are bolstering sectarianism at the expense of democracy."
"Opposition is sweeter."
Lebanon's 128-seat parliament is divided according to a complex sectarian power-sharing system and the outcome of this year's polls are likely to be determined by a handful of seats.
But Lebanon has lurched from one political crisis to the next since the last elections in 2005, with the coalitions that stood in those polls later unraveling.
The result has been a series of compromise national unity governments that ostensibly seek to represent all parties but are hobbled by internal divisions that have brought the country to the brink of a return to its 1975-1990 civil war.
"This is the problem that the (Hezbollah-led) opposition has ... They talk about consensus democracy but what they are really doing is bolstering sectarianism," he said.
"If anyone wants to be prime minister and the opposition wants to back or nominate him then good for them."
Syria's opponents in Lebanon won the 2005 elections following the assassination of Hariri's father, a former prime minister. The killing provoked an international outcry and street demonstrations that forced Syria to end its 29-year military presence in its smaller neighbor.
But divisions, mirroring wider regional and international splits, have dogged the country. Continued...
View article on single page
Russia blames OSCE for not preventing Georgia war
Also On Reuters
Facebook lets users comment on new terms of service
Commentary: Redefining the sacred in the banking rescue
Rolling Stones fan shines a light on dark decade
More International News
Russian bomber neared Canada before Obama visit
Vatican rejects Holocaust-denying bishop's apology
Bangladesh mutiny ends, death toll put at over 70
Fidel Castro walks in Havana: Venezuela's Chavez
Sri Lanka rebels boxed in further, army says
More International News...
Lebanon's Hariri to accept U.N. trial findings
A selection of our best photos from the past 24 hours. Slideshow
Most Popular on Reuters
Policy shift will avert $9 trillion deficit: Orszag
Top Republicans rip into Obama budget plan
Citigroup gets new rescue
A bruised Warren Buffett looks ahead
Americans mixed on Obama budget, fret over deficit
TOPWRAP 7-Govts tighten grip on banks, US economy falters
FACTBOX-Financial crisis sparks unrest in Europe
FBI makes first arrest in Stanford fraud case
Top N.Y. legal officer demands bonus list from BofA CEO
Rabbis rule joking teens legally married
Most Popular Articles RSS Feed
Milutinovic cleared of war crimes
Moving on from the volcano
The price of war
Obama's budget could be tough sell
Cardboard city slum
Australia on fire alert
And Finally... Exerthighs.
Bangladesh counts the cost of mutiny
More talks to come
Obama submits budget blueprint
Most Popular Videos RSS Feed
the great debate
Obama's foreign policy challenges
President Barack Obama’s toughest foreign-policy challenge will be in managing the sheer number of complex problems he’s inherited and their refusal to arrive in orderly fashion. Commentary
The global destination for corporate leaders, deal-makers and innovators
Knowledge to Act
Help and Contact Us |
Advertise With Us |
Interactive TV |
Reuters in Second Life |
Site Index |
Thomson Reuters Corporate:
Professional Products |
Professional Products Support |
About Thomson Reuters |
Latin America |
United Kingdom |
Thomson Reuters is the world's largest international multimedia news agency, providing investing news, world news, business news, technology news, headline news, small business news, news alerts, personal finance, stock market, and mutual funds information available on Reuters.com, video, mobile, and interactive television platforms. Thomson Reuters journalists are subject to an Editorial Handbook which requires fair presentation and disclosure of relevant interests.
NYSE and AMEX quotes delayed by at least 20 minutes. Nasdaq delayed by at least 15 minutes. For a complete list of exchanges and delays, please click here.